barbara-suckfull

Saturday 10 June 2017. 10:30 – 13:00
Carmelite Centre, Aungier Street, Dublin 2.
APPI Members: €20, Non Members: €25, Students: €10

Incandescent Alphabets – Art as a work of repair in psychosis.

Language changes in psychosis.

Words become the floating signifiers of a mad Other who takes up a place in speech.

Speech elements connect to nothing, have no meaning whatsoever, and disrupt the meaning that was unfolding.

These elements, whether heard or spoken, are foreign to the speaker, and create a profound sense of disorder with respect to speaking. She cannot find her place in language. He questions if his thoughts are actually his, and concludes they are not.

How is it possible then to orientate oneself in language once language becomes a puzzling body of signs, bewildering signs without a code or key?

In response to the experience of language derailed, artists in psychosis make clocks, calendars, numbers, music, and scripts, the infinite unfolding of codes. The images of these artists attest to a work of repair through what I call “incandescent alphabets,” a new orientation in time, space and language. I argue that art made in psychosis shows us something of the intensity and beauty of the work of repairing language.

(Image above: Barbara Suckfüll, Untitled, 1910, Pencil, pen in blue ink on file, 33 x42 cm, Inv. No. 1956 verso © Sammlung Prinzhorn, Heidelberg, from Annie G. Rogers’ new book: ‘Incandescent Alphabets – Psychosis and the Enigma of Language’,  Karnac, 2016.)

incandescent-alphabets